Updated: May 16, 2020
Ecotherapy itself is a relatively new term to express an old concept: nature supports our healing process. Before observing and studying how positively nature is impacting people's well-being, we already knew that a walk in the woods and being outdoor made us feel better. So, why is Ecotherapy then becoming more popular now? Here are a few questions answered.
What is Ecotherapy?
Ecotherapy is a new therapeutic method that combines ecology, mental health and physical well-being. However, Ecotherapy practised with a trained therapist, adds some bonuses to just enjoying being outdoor.
While being in contact with nature has always been known as beneficial, an ecotherapist helps develop insightS into yourself and your surrounding.
This exploration will help you widen perspectives on all aspects of your life.
How does the combination of ecology and mental health work?
We naturally relax when in contact with natural surroundings. A relaxed state supports the person's improvements and helps overcome painful feelings. An ecotherapist may use techniques like mindfulness, sense of place, positive psychology, and meditation.
Is everyone positively affected by nature?
Apparently yes. Some studies have been conducted on this topic in the last decades. One of them shows an interesting result, the power of nature is restorative for everyone, no matter their age, gender, culture, and beliefs. The language spoken between nature and humans is universal. Understanding this perspective gives us already a sense of how great nature is.
There are no separations among people when it comes to the internal process about their relationship with nature.
How does this restorative language work?
There are many theories about that. I find that the most plausible is the one stating that this has something to do with the fact that we evolved in nature. Nature has been the environment of our ancestors for thousands of years. Even if natural events can be scary, there is where they got shelter and food from. All past cultures had great respect for nature and used to worship their environment and its manifestations.
Therefore, we instinctively trust nature.
Can Ecotherapy be practised only outdoor?
Outdoor is better, but not compulsory. There are some alternatives, if, for some reason, you are not able to go out. Potting plants for your balcony, creating mandalas with material gathered in your garden or spending time with your pet, are other ways to practice Ecotherapy. Even watching pictures or videos about nature for only five minutes per day (increasing this time is even better) helps you improve a sense of positivity and calmness.
These are only some of the reasons why taking advantage of the calming effect of nature has a positive impact on all of us.
Find your way to interact with nature!
When the power of nature is not enough, it doesn't mean there is something wrong with you; there is just the need for some extra help. There might be a trusted friend or family member to talk to, but if the struggle stays there, it might be a good idea to reach out to a professional that can help you.
At Build Your Safe Space, I offer two types of Ecotherapy services: Walk and Talk Therapy and Therapy in the Park; both services are practised outdoor. If the weather doesn't play along, the session can be postponed or moved online.
If you wish to know a little more about Walk and Talk Therapy and Therapy in the Park, you can have a first 30 minutes free chat with me, get in touch!